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San_Diego_Mayor_Bob_Filner.jpgSan Diego Mayor Bob Filner has apologized for sexual harassment allegations lodged against him:

I begin today by apologizing to you. I have diminished the office to which you elected me.

The charges made at today's news conference are serious. When a friend like Donna Frye is compelled to call for my resignation, I'm clearly doing something wrong. I have reached into my heart and soul and realized I must and will change my behavior.

As someone who has spent a lifetime fighting for equality for all people, I am embarrassed to admit that I have failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times I have intimidated them.

It's a good thing that behavior that would have been tolerated in the past is being called out in this generation for what it is: inappropriate and wrong.

I am also humbled to admit that I need help. I have begun to work with professionals to make changes in my behavior and approach. In addition, my staff and I will participate in sexual harassment training provided by the city. Please know that I fully understand that only I am the one that can make these changes.

If my behavior doesn't change, I cannot succeed in leading our city.

In the next few days, I will be reaching out to those who now work in the Mayor's Office or have previously worked for me - both men and women - to personally apologize for my behavior.

I will also be announcing fundamental changes within the Mayor's Office designed to promote a new spirit of cooperation, respect and effectiveness.

You have every right to be disappointed in me. I only ask that you give me an opportunity to prove I am capable of change, so that the vision I have for our city's future can be realized.

Thank you.

PHOTO: This Nov. 7, 2012, file photo shows San Diego Mayor Bob Filner smiling during a news conference at a park in San Diego. Associated Press/Gregory Bull



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